I really did not know what to expect except that I have agreed to go overland from Hanoi to Nanning (Quangxi Province)
The overland by a 16seater bus was quite pleasant taking over 3.5 hours to Lang Son and cross over the Vietnamese to the Chinese Border. The passport clearance on the Vietnamese side was somewhat chaotic and the walking distance between the Vietnam post to the Chinese Immigration clearance was quite far, bearing in mind that you need to trolley your somewhat heavy bags across.
There are electric golf carts for the purpose of transporting travelers but this is only part of the entire length.
But once you have gone through the Vietnamese Immigration, the change was quite a difference and the clearance with the Chinese Immigration Posts was far better and uniformed. From then and when you put a foothold into Chinese territory, you really feel much at ease and with wide open spaces and scenic walk towards the bus station.
The bus shuttle or taxi will then take you from Dong Dang to PingXiang where you then board a big bus across a great highway towards Nanning (this takes another 4.5 hours) but due to the smooth bus ride, the 4.5 hours seem a lot shorter?
Arrival in Nanning was truly a great difference coming from Hanoi. It’s a big modern city with lots of big walking malls and many shopping centres. BUT almost all shopping centers are deserted and not many shoppers. The night-Markets are filled with people – street side shopping and abundance of eating stalls. This makes a lot easier when looking for food but then, there are also many small to medium restaurants of all kinds.
I stayed in the Vienna Hotel in the center of the city and within walking distance from all kinds of activities such as food, shopping malls and shopping centers. The hotel is a standard 3star and rooms are quite comfortable, except that they are still using the “carpet” flooring concept which is not very conducive for guests who are allergic and having “breathing problems”
But above all, it is a reasonably priced hotel and with sufficient facilities for what I needed. Only inconvenience is that there is no wifi in the rooms and one has to go to the lobby if wifi is needed?
From 1-10 I will give this Hotel Vienna a reasonable 6.5
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